BURBANK TENNIS CENTER -- Early in Burbank High’s playoff match
Tuesday at the Burbank Tennis Center, the Bulldogs were distracted by
music blaring from the adjacent McCambridge Park Pool area.
While the Bulldogs were trying to concentrate against Chino Hills
Ayala in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round contest, the
lyric stylings of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s rap anthem “Baby Got Back”
bombarded the athletes.
Unfortunately for Ayala, it was only a momentary distraction for
Burbank, as it rolled to a 13-5 victory.
“I don’t know what’s going on with that music, but it’s too loud,”
Burbank Coach Paul McNiff said. “We can’t play with that going on.”
About 10 minutes after it began, Sir Mix-A-Lot was put down -- and
Ayala (17-4) wouldn’t be too far behind.
The win puts Burbank (15-5) into the division quarterfinals on
Tuesday against Arcadia (20-0). The Apaches defeated La Canada, 17-1,
in their second-round match on Tuesday.
It is the 12th time in 15 seasons -- and first since 2000 --
Burbank has made it to the quarterfinals.
“I really wasn’t all that happy with the way we played today,”
McNiff said. “I think we should have won sone points that we lost.
It’s just a matter of being focused.”
McNiff, whose team finished as co-Foothill League champion with
Valencia, said he knows his team should have a tough time against
The Apaches have not stumbled yet this season, winning a Pacific
“We are just going to do the best we can,” he said. “We know they
have a very good team and we will really have to work for our
The Bulldogs were paced by No. 1 singles Haig Kassabian, who
swept, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. Kassabian is the two-time defending Foothill
League singles champion.
Despite toiling in the hot day with the temperature in the 90s,
the heat didn’t bother Kassabian.
“I don’t mind the heat that much,” he said. “I just have to make
sure I drink a lot of water.”
At No. 2, Hovsep Gasamanian went 1-6, 2-6, 7-5 and Ara
Baghdasaryan went 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.
The surprise of the playoffs has been the play of No. 3 doubles
David Chang and Alex Dawoodian, who swept for the second straight
match, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-3.
“We are just in harmony right now,” Dawoodian said. “We play well
together as a team and we are winning.”
The No. 2 Bulldog team of Chris Lee and Varyzhan Sarkisyan went
6-4, 6-3, 3-6 and No. 1 James Chang and Ted Kang went 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
“Playing well in CIF is very important to us,” David Chang said.
“We realize how difficult it is to do well with so many good teams in
Although not about to make excuses for his team, Ayala Coach Jim
Moscato -- whose team won the Sierra League -- said his Bulldogs were
“We have one of our better players out because of academic
ineligibility and a couple of our guys are injured and really playing
their best,” he said. “That forced us to switch things around for the
“This is definitely a very different team from the one that beat
Diamond Bar for the league title.”